Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. [from 2nd reading]
Has God’s Word taken root in me? Is my life rooted in this God who wants to speak to me, who wants to be my companion on my journey through time to eternity? Or, is my life surfing over waves of moments of time that thrill for a moment and then splash on the shores of this world? Such materialism deludes us into thinking we are alive. But are we?
Where is my heart in these splashes of time? The great Russian novelist, Dostoevsky, referred to the human heart in these words: “Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.” The catechism calls the human heart, “the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; … the place “to which I withdraw.” … our hidden center.”
“To humbly welcome the word that has been planted” in us and is able to save our souls is not rocket science. It is simply the daily practice of being still and listening to God speaking to me, to listen in the heart where God speaks to me telling me of my basic goodness and beauty. It is a message which Satan cannot stand since he is the Father of Lies.
The ancient monastic tradition, which the Church inherited, put its finger on the problem in the word, acedia, which St. Thomas defines as ‘sadness because the good is difficult.’ St. Benedict will speak about this vice in his chapter on the daily manual labor (48) where he speaks of lectio divina, the meditative reading of the Sacred Scriptures. A French monk refers to prayer to the Holy Spirit before such prayerful reading:
One could say that it [lectio divina] is a true antidote against acedia, since it asks that we might rediscover a taste for the Word of God and might rejoice in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Saint Benedict grasped particularly well the fact that the strongest desire not to persevere could occur during lectio divina. Conversely, during lectio divina one can truly discover or rediscover the savor of things, in the long term. We find here a certain conversion of time: the fact of taking time with the Word of God and of rediscovering the joy of the Word. [Jean-Charles Nault, OSB. The Noonday Devil, Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of our Times. p. 52]
Becoming hearers and doers of the Word really involves a “conversion of time.” We practice turning our time over the God and welcoming his daily guidance for our lives!
Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB